The Empire of Russia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 601 pages of information about The Empire of Russia.

In 1556, Chanceller embarked for England with four ships richly laden with the gold and the produce of Russia, accompanied by Joseph Nepeia, an embassador to the Queen of England.  Fortune, which, until then, had smiled upon this hardy mariner, now turned adverse.  Tempests dispersed his ships, and one only reached London.  Chanceller himself perished in the waves upon the coast of Scotland.  The ships dashed upon the rocks, and the Russian embassador, Nepeia, barely escaped with his life.  Arriving at London, he was overwhelmed with caresses and presents.  The most distinguished dignitaries of the State and one hundred and forty merchants, accompanied by a great number of attendants, all richly clad and mounted upon superb horses, rode out to meet him.  They presented to him a horse magnificently caparisoned, and thus escorted, the first Russian embassador made his entrance into the capital of Great Britain.  The inhabitants of London crowded the streets to catch a sight of the illustrious Russian, and thousands of voices greeted him with the heartiest acclaim.  A magnificent mansion was assigned for his residence, which was furnished in the highest style of splendor.  He was invited to innumerable festivals, and the court were eager to exhibit to him every thing worthy of notice in the city of London.  He was conducted to the cathedral of St. Paul, to Westminster Abbey, to the Tower and to all the parks and palaces.  The queen received Nepeia with the most marked consideration.  At one of the most gorgeous festivals he was seated by her side, the observed of all observers.

The embassador could only regret that the rich presents of furs and Russian fabrics which the tzar had sent by his hand to Mary, were all engulfed upon the coast of Scotland.  The queen sent to the tzar the most beautiful fabrics of the English looms, the most exquisitely constructed weapons of war, such as sabers, guns and pistols, and a living lion and lioness, animals which never before had been seen within the bounds of the Russian empire.  In September, 1557, Nepeia embarked for Russia, taking with him several English artisans, miners and physicians.  Ivan was anxious to lose no opportunity to gain from foreign lands every thing which could contribute to Russian civilization.  The letter which Mary and Philip returned to Moscow was flatteringly addressed to the august emperor, Ivan IV.  When the tzar learned all the honors and the testimonials of affection with which his embassador had been greeted in London, he considered the English as the most precious of all the friends of Russia.  He ordered mansions to be prepared for the accommodation of their merchants in all the commercial cities of the empire, and he treated them in other respects with such marked tokens of regard, that all the letters which they wrote to London were filled with expressions of gratitude towards the Russian sovereign.

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The Empire of Russia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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